Did I mention that this spring jaunt is all about chasing wildflowers? Well I didn’t expect finding any early season ones at Mojave National Preserve, it was just a place to hike while enroute to wildflower heaven. Well wasn’t I surprised as I entered the preserve to see the Bladder-Pod with bright yellow blooms.
The American Snout butterfly were happy to see these blooms also.
During my previous visit I’d hiked to the popular locations so I stopped in at the Kelso Visitor Center to ask about options. One of the rangers recommended Quail Springs. Although I have a baby 4×4, I don’t like narrow roads. This particular road had zero pullouts and meant if I met someone one of us would have to back-up, not my favorite thing at all. Fingers crossed, I was lucky both coming and going.
This is the trailhead. The beginning of the hike follows a road turned trail. You can see by the footprints it’s a well used section of trail.
As you climb toward a pass, you get views back into the Kelso Dunes.
One of the largest cat claws I’ve seen.
The red of the barrel cactus was a standout among the winter grays.
This was an interesting rock formation.
After crossing over the ridge, I found so much green in the Quail Spring Basin.
I’m always happy to find more flowers.
I hiked the recommended loop which switches from old road to washes. As a result, the second half of the loop was much more time consuming than the first and I missed sunrise at the top of the ridge.
I found myself hustling down the trail at dusk, not something I like to do when in mountain lion territory.
As I continued toward the south exit of the preserve I found the lupine beginning to bloom.
- March 4, 2019
- NPS – Mojave National Preserve
- National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map
- Hiking the Mojave Desert: The Natural and Cultural Heritage of Mojave National Preserve by Michel Digonnet